September 23, 2016 Interview – Katie Keene
Ghosts, Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires, and madmen, just a few of the villains depicted in Horror cinema. Often very common themes in the genre, one can not forget the ever-spooky Clowns to add to the pile. A fear many admit to having, even as adults, Clowns have been creeping people out for years, and ClownTown is one of the most recent films to tap into the terror. With a cast that features talented, aspiring actress Katie Keene, ClownTown is set for release in select theaters on September 30th, and on DVD/VOD October 4th. Recently we had the chance to sit down with film star Keene to talk her love for Horror, her real life fear of Clowns, working on ClownTown, and more.
CrypticRock.com – You have been involved in acting in film professionally for some time now. First, tell us, what initially inspired you to get involved in acting?
Katie Keene – Acting is something I believe I was born with. From the moment I could talk, I wanted to be an actress; which is odd because there are no actors in my family. I do not come from an entertainment background. As a young girl, I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to put on plays and I wanted to be in movies. I literally think it was something I was just born with.
CrypticRock.com – Sometimes it is just something that comes naturally.
Katie Keene – Yes, my mom would say the first things I would say were quotes from a movie (laughs).
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) That is pretty funny. You most recently started as Jill in the Horror flick ClownTown. How did this project come about for you?
Katie Keene – This is a project I auditioned out in LA, where I live. I audition quite a bit for things I submit myself for through online sources. I found this online, submitted, and I was called in for an audition. The next day, I was called in for a call back, and I booked it. Just another self-submission got me in it.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool. You have been in other Horror films in the past. Do you have an affection for the Horror genre?
Katie Keene – You know, it is funny, I do like Horror films. It is nothing I intended to be thinking “I am going to make awesome Horror films in my career.” A lot of Independent films are Horror genre. I would book a film and it would be Horror, and another I booked would be a Horror movie, and so on. I think it kind of came about in an organic way that I really like. I am still making Horror movies. I do love the genre, I do think it is a lot of fun. Of course, there are other genres I want to get involved in. I do have a lot of fun with this. It takes a lot out of me, but Horror and scary things is kind of what I do. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so it kind of makes sense.
CrypticRock.com – It is nice to hear you do enjoy the genre and it will be great to see you expand to other genres in the future. As far as ClownTown, the atmosphere is certainly helped by eerie sound effects and music. When on set, what were some keys for you to get into your role?
Katie Keene – It was relying on the actors. It is funny, I was telling the story, Clowns are my biggest fear in the world. I didn’t know it was a killer Clown movie. It took me a few minutes to take into consideration what I was getting myself into it. I do have a legitimate fear of Clowns, I had night terrors about them. As a child, it bothered me really bad. After I got over that, for me, it didn’t take much for me to look at the Clown and be scared for my life because I just naturally feel that way about Clowns. I like to really zone in when I am on set. There are no sound effects on set, but there is a respect that the other actors and director give you. I go into my unhappy place in a Horror film to try and bring up that emotion. They give you that respect if you have a big scene like that. They give you the space you need to do your own thing and bring your performance out. I think all the actors on the ClownTown set worked great. It was such a team effort nonstop from day one.
CrypticRock.com – That is interesting that your real fear of Clowns was able to play into the film. It makes for a more genuine emotion. You mentioned the director, Tom Nagel, is a relatively new director with a list of acting credits. What was it like working with him?
Katie Keene – Tommy was great to work with. What I think is great about working with Tom, is because he comes from an actor’s background, I love that. You have someone coming from my side, the acting side. You have some directors who do not care too much about the acting, but how the film looks overall. I love working with an actor’s director. Tommy was amazing. From the moment I met him, he really made me feel comfortable. I could always come to Tommy with ideas, or if I needed help getting into a scene, he was always there. He was so great to work with, he had such a good vision. It was just beautiful the way it worked all together. I have a difficult time when a director says, “Great, great,” real quick. The actor in me thinks, are you sure you got it? When I was working with Tommy, when we nailed it, I believed him. It is very rare when I do that as an actor because I am so self-absorbed in what I am doing and it will never be good enough. When I was working with Tommy, he would tell me I got it, and I believed him. I am a big fan of his.
CrypticRock.com – It sounds like it was a wonderful experience. My last question for you is pertaining to movies. CrypticRock.com covers music and Horror films. If you are a fan of Horror films, what are some of your favorite Horror films?
Katie Keene – Good question. I would say The Strangers (2008). I thought it was so well done and it freaked me out. I am originally from the middle of nowhere in Kentucky, so it really got to me. I am also a fan of old school Horror films like Night of the Living Dead (1968). You just can’t make films like that anymore. Recently, it is hard to say. I just don’t find Horror films that scary anymore. I think they are fun, but they aren’t really scary. The whole Rob Zombie Clown thing, I am excited to see where he goes with that, 31. Always a fan of Halloween (1978), the Halloweens always get me. Overall, Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, and The Strangers. The Strangers scared me a bit, I had to sleep with my light on for a while after that one (laughs).